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Tag: monument canyon trail

Wedding Canyon Loop 2018

New Year’s Day | Monday, January 1, 2018

After going on my last hike of 2017 the previous day, it was now time for me to go on my very first hike of 2018! I woke up early on Monday morning and drove over to the Lower Monument Canyon Trailhead in the Colorado National Monument so I could hike the Wedding Canyon Loop. This is one of my favorite hikes in the Monument and one I recommend to anyone who asks me about hiking in the area. Hiking this loop on New year’s Day has become somewhat of a tradition for me the past couple of years, and I wanted to keep that up. Plus, it’s just a great way to start off the new year close to home!

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Circling The Island

New Year’s Day | Sunday, January 1, 2017
Wedding Canyon Loop 2017

On New Year’s Day Diane and I were up before sunrise to go on our first hike of 2017 in the Colorado National Monument. As usual, we returned to the Wedding Canyon Loop which makes a complete loop around The Island. We went to bed early on New Year’s Eve so we would have no problems getting up for the hike, although we were awoken by fireworks at midnight, and made it to the Monument Canyon Trailhead just before sunrise. We typically hike this loop in a counter-clockwise direction because I prefer to climb the steeper trail in Wedding Canyon and then descend the more gradual trail in Monument Canyon. There was plenty of snow and ice on the trail in Wedding Canyon, but we never had to put on our microspikes this time. As we ascended Wedding Canyon we were treated to a very nice sunrise, but as soon as we reached Independence Monument at the middle of the loop more clouds moved in and blocked the sun for the remainder of the hike back down. We completed the five mile loop in just over two hours and were off the trail before the ground could thaw out and turn into mud.

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Independence Monument

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Since I haven’t been able to get out hiking in couple of weeks (plus the temperature was only in the low 90’s, which is slightly cooler than it’s been the last few days), I decided to head out after work for an evening hike in the Colorado National Monument. It’s been a little while since the last time I was in Monument Canyon, so I hiked up that trail to Independence Monument and then explored the upper reaches of Wedding Canyon for a different view of Independence Monument before returning the way I had come. The parking lot at the trailhead was completely empty when I arrived and I would only pass one trail runner shortly before sunset. I had the entire canyon to myself for a few hours which was nice. Enjoy a few photos from the evening!

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Colorado National Monument Western Loop

Colorado National Monument Traverse III
Sunday, March 20, 2016

After our overnight hike along the Black Ridge Loop in the Colorado National Monument last year Diane had mentioned to me that she enjoyed the hike up the Fruita Dugway and wanted to hike it again, so this year I planned a different loop that included the Fruita Dugway, Black Ridge Trail, CCC Trail and then returned down Monument Canyon. It would make a nice 13.5 mile loop on the western side of the Monument. We dropped my Jeep off at the Lower Monument Canyon Trailhead shortly before sunrise and then drove over to the Fruita Dugway Trailhead and started climbing the trail as the sun was coming up for the day. The Fruita Dugway is probably one of my favorite and often overlooked trails in the Colorado National Monument.

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Return to The Island

Sunday, March 15, 2015

On Sunday morning Diane and I headed into the Colorado National Monument for a short and steep sunrise hike. Recently Diane had mentioned to me that she wanted to climb to the top of The Island which is between Monument Canyon and Wedding Canyon. It had been a few years since I was up there and I was definitely interested in hiking it again, especially since we were going to catch a sunrise on the way. We made it to the Lower Monument Canyon Trailhead about 45 minutes before sunrise and were the first vehicle in the parking lot. We started hiking in the dark and followed the rim on the southeast side of The Island over Monument Canyon so we would have a good view as the sun came up.

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